Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Walking Mama Home.

Mama last May. Believe it or not, her appearance in this photo seems robust to me now. Copyright Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Mama last May. Believe it or not, her appearance in this photo seems robust and sharp-witted to me now. Copyright Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Mama seems better the past couple of days, but she is hallucinating, which means no sleep for me.

I’m sorry I’ve been so slow to come back to blogging. I’ve been going minute-by-minute on Mama care, and when I get a moment, I usually crash.

I did take a few minutes to write this post about Lord Carey’s advocacy for euthanasia, as well as one of the tougher moments I’ve had with Mama since I brought her home from the hospital.

I’m asking for prayers all around, my friends. Pray for me, as I find that the exhaustion is undermanning me seriously. Prayers for Mama. And prayers for our world that is so in love with the culture of death.

I’m going to do my best to blog more this week. But if I can’t, know that you are in my prayers.

From the National Catholic Register:

Mama slipped through my hands.

It was as if her bones were strands of boiled spaghetti, as if she was liquid rather than solid.

I fought the fall all the way down.

She landed in a sprawl against the oxygen machine, her head wedged between it and the portable potty. “Ohhhhh,” she moaned. I tried to lift her, but those spaghetti bones and her little bit of weight were too much for me.

The master bedroom, where my husband was, is all the way across the house from where Mama and me. I yelled for him to come help me. Yelled again and again. Yelled so loudly that my throat strained.

He didn’t hear me.

I left her there and ran to the master bedroom, yelling his name as I went.

He was able to lift her from the floor, and back onto the bed. Meanwhile, I collapsed on the small sofa at the foot of her bed. Throughout the last week, from her first collapse into unconsciousness on Tuesday night, all through that long night in the ER, and then through her rousal the next day and lapse back into deep sleep from which she could not be awakened … a sleep that lasted for four days … I never cried a tear. I couldn’t cry. My eyes were dry and I just kept going, one foot in front of the other foot.

But when my husband lifted Mama from the floor and put her back on her bed, I sank onto the sofa at the foot of her bed and broke into great, gasping sobs. I cried until the muscles in my chest hurt from the exhaustion of the sobbing.

Meanwhile, Mama, half conscious, kept mumbling something. I got up and sat on the bed beside her, but I still couldn’t make out what she was saying. I leaned forward until my ear was almost touching her lips.

“It wasn’t your fault,” she said.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/it-is-a-great-gift-to-carry-the-cross-of-someone-you-love/#ixzz3j5fxj56d

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Converting the World, Ending Abortion, the Jesus Way

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Koshy Koshy https://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Koshy Koshy https://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/

Mama is scheduled to come home from the hospital today. It’s a new reality. Most of what she could do before last week, she can no longer do.

I’ve enlisted the help of hospice, and they’ve already been great. They brought over a hospital bed, oxygen, and all sorts of helpful equipment. But I am concerned about my physical ability to do the lifting and such. I’m asking for your prayers.

In the meantime, I wrote this post for the National Catholic Register about the need to pray for those we would like to hate. I’m talking about pro choice politicians, in particular those who voted against the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood last week.

We can lose our souls while we’re trying to serve God if we become instruments of hate instead of love. Scripture tells us that God is love. So, if we do not love, including those we feel are the most unlovable, then we have no part in Him.

Remember that Jesus is God, and He showed us a new and history-changing dynamic. Jesus died for us, and we are not the least bit lovable by the yardstick we use to judge others. We are, if we will admit it, full of angers, petty grudges, lies, selfishness and greed. That is the best of us, those who do not commit the wrongs we read about on the internet or see on the news.

But He died for us. He came down from heaven and became human, with all its aches and pains, loneliness and hardship, and He did it for us.

That is an example of loving someone who doesn’t deserve it that goes beyond our understanding or capacity for understanding. We can try to approach it by thinking on the wholly human side of Jesus, that part of Him that understands us because He consented to be one of us. But we can not begin to understand what it meant to give up heaven, to go from being God to become a helpless baby and on through dying as a criminal, hanging on a cross.

We can’t comprehend that, but we can know that it calls us to more than just genuflecting and crossing ourselves and the showy stuff of empty piety. It calls us to emulate this divine love as best we can when we are given the opportunity.

Jesus told us without any equivocation to go out into the world and teach what He taught, to convert sinners and baptize them in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This was His commission to us. The mission statement for all of Christianity, everywhere.

He also told us to pray for those Who hurt us. Then He modeled that for us from the cross.

I applied that commandment from Our Lord directly to the political situation we are facing now. Here’s what I said.

From The National Catholic Register:

I was once one of them. The pro-aborts, I mean.

After my conversion, when I began to understand that abortion was wrong and, worse for me at that time, when I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to change, the major obstacle for me was pro-life people. I had been the Oklahoma Director of NARAL. I had been a pro-choice legislator who used my position to kill pro-life legislation.

I had made speeches, organized and worked for abortion rights with all my little heart. I was as sincere and committed in my pro-choice advocacy as anyone could be. Pro-life people in Oklahoma counted me as the enemy. And they came after me.

The trouble was, they made it into a personal fight against me instead of advocacy for the babies. Instead of speaking for the humanity of the unborn, they tried to hate me to death. They said I was a communist, a prostitute, a lesbian, a whore and a slut. They claimed all sorts of political positions for me that I did not hold, and that ultimately were proven lies by my actions.

These lies hurt me as a person and as a woman. They wounded me, and they hardened me in my pro-choice resolve. They also enraged people who know me and who knew full well that the pro-life people were telling creepy, hate-filled, low-life lies about me. What they did not do was convert anyone to the pro-life cause. To the contrary, they tempered all of us into pro-choice steel.

After my conversion, when the Holy Spirit began urging me to change on abortion, I was reluctant and fearful precisely because I didn’t know one single pro-life person who I thought was sane, much less trustworthy and nice. If God had asked me to jump into an active volcano, I could not have found it more dreadful.

I believe this same dynamic is at work with pro-choice politicians today.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/we-can-stop-abortion-only-with-christs-weapons-not-the-devils/#ixzz3iW2d3N1r

 

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Not Back Yet.

My mother is still in the hospital, so no blogs. I’ll be back as soon as I can.

 

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Off Until Monday

My mother is in the hospital and things are kind of rocky. If Mama’s health improves, I’ll be back Monday.

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Taking Day Off

I can’t blog today. Family stuff. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Rebecca

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It Was a Mama Kind of Night

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Caring for an old person is a little bit like driving a car with 300,000 miles on it. You never know when it’s going to break down, or in what weird way it will do it.

Last night was an example of this. Mama passed out on us in a 3-2-1-lights-out sort of way, and then she stayed passed out. My oldest son and I spent hours in the er beside her bed while she was off wherever it was that she’d gone and the medical staff tried to figure out what was happening.

Then this morning, she woke up like an old car that wouldn’t start yesterday but today kicks over as if nothing had happened. She’s still in the hospital, and I’m glad to have her there. She needs the care, and we need the help.

I wrote about it for the National Catholic Register.  Here’s a bit of what I said:

Old people — and by that I mean very old people — are funny.

They’re not funny in the sense of laughs. They’re funny in the sense that you never know from one moment to the next what’s going to happen.

Caring for a two-year-old is a piece of the proverbial cake compared to caring for a 90-year-old with dementia. My family and I have been doing our best to care for my 90-year-old-two-year-old for years now.

Her dementia started when she was in her high 80s. It was a late-comer to the aging party, but once it arrived, it went through her brain like a laser, cutting away pieces with every pass. Dementia never stops taking. It is an aggressive and remorseless beast that slowly, but inevitably, lops off chunks of the person you love.

Mama is my baby now, complete with diapers and the sudden medical crises that go along with the physical declines of extreme age. A 90-year-old going on eternity can slide straight down from doin’fine and being a pest to the brink of forever in one, breath-taking step.

Consider last night.

What we had was Mama, prattling along with her nonsensical word-salad talk-talking while changing into her night gown. With no warning, she stopped talking and slumped forward.

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Center for Medical Progress Releases Another Planned Parenthood Video

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Cliff https://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Cliff https://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/

This is the latest video by Center for Medical Progress.

I found two videos, one edited and another unedited version of a second situation. The second video talks about public reaction and says that “this is the first step in stem cell research,” meaning embryonic stem cell research.

I can tell you from personal experience that the medical establishment has been highly successful in using business interests to shut down legislation banning embryonic stem cell research. Sad to say, Republican leadership and a good bit of pro life advocacy leadership cooperates with them in this by actually killing pro life legislation. This is all done in back rooms, without the public knowing about it. The press never covers it, and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand it.

Living in this environment was one of the most painful things I’ve experienced as a legislator. I’ve experienced more than a bit of that again, with the votes in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. I know too much, and that can be hard to bear.

For that reason, I’m going to take the rest of today for prayer. I need time with God.

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Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood: How Did Your Senator Vote?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Anna Levinzon https://www.flickr.com/photos/anyalogic/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Anna Levinzon https://www.flickr.com/photos/anyalogic/

The Associated Press has published a list of the members of the United States Senate and how they voted in today’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

The vote was not a vote on the bill. It was a vote on a motion for cloture. Cloture would have limited debate and stopped the potential for a filibuster. Cloture needs 60 votes.

According to the Associated Press story, the final breakdown was 2 Democrats and 51 Republicans voting “yes,” and 42 Democrats, 2 Republicans and both Independents voting “no.” The “nos” carried, which effectively killed consideration of the bill.

To see the Associated Press vote tally and how your senator voted, go to ABC News. 

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Senate Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood Falls 7 Votes Short

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by kambodza https://www.flickr.com/photos/49507393@N08/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by kambodza https://www.flickr.com/photos/49507393@N08/

Today’s United States Senate vote on defunding Planned Parenthood fell 7 votes short.

Sixty votes were needed to pass cloture, which would have cut off a filibuster. The final vote on cloture was 53-46. Congressional Republicans vow to fight on throughout the rest of the session. One idea that is being floated is to attach an amendment to the budget bill. This action would most likely result in a shut-down of government.

The Senate has not posted the roll call on this vote yet. When they do, I’ll post it for you.

From The Washington Post:

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican-backed effort to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood following the release of undercover videos raising questions about its practice of harvesting tissue for research from aborted fetuses.

The procedural vote on a bill that would immediately halt funding to the group fell short of the 60 needed to proceed. Democrats vowed to filibuster the bill, and Republicans were unable to peel off enough support to counter it. The final tally was 53-46.

But GOP leaders have made defunding Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of their agenda going into the summer congressional recess, and some Republicans have said they are willing to force a government shutdown in October if federal support to the group is not severed.

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Tyndale Publishers Awarded Permanent Injunction Against HHS Mandate

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Official White House Photo.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Official White House Photo.

We won one.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has granted a permanent injunction against the United States government in the matter of its attempt to force Tyndale Publishers to abide by the HHS Mandate. In other words, the court ruled that attempts to force Tyndale to abide by the HHS Mandate had previously been ruled Unconstitutional in the Hobby Lobby decision.

The reason for this is that Tyndale is a for-profit corporation, as opposed to the Little Sisters of the Poor, which is a non-profit. The Hobby Lobby decision addressed for-profits.

This allowed the Obama Administration to issue a new set of guidelines, forcing the nuns to abide by the HHS Mandate. It also forces the Little Sisters to take their case to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, I wonder why, given the Hobby Lobby case, the government didn’t just drop its case against Tyndale. Why was the publisher forced to seek this injunction? The Obama administration seems determined to try to force Christian employers to violate their faiths, up to and including forcing them to take their individual cases to court to claim their rights.

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Senator Joe Manchin Goes Against His Party Will Vote to Defund PP

 

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomblin/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomblin/

Senator Joe Manchin, (D-WV) has announced that he will vote to defund Planned Parenthood today.

This is a critical vote, since Manchin is one of a handful of pro life Democrats in the United States Senate. It is possible that Senator Manchin will pay a large political price for this vote inside his own party.

One of the problems we’ve had with this particular issue is separating contraception from abortion in the public’s mind and the minds of elected officials. I can tell you that back in the years when I was pro choice, I honestly did not believe that Planned Parenthood performed abortions. I didn’t learn I was wrong until many years later.

Perhaps the videos of Planned Parenthood executives selling aborted baby body parts will clarify people’s thinking.

 

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Defund PP Vote Today. Call Your Senator.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by DonkeyHotey https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by DonkeyHotey https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/

The United States Senate says it will vote today on defunding Planned Parenthood.

I know I’ve predicted that this vote will fall short. But every so often I’m wrong. Push your senators to help prove me wrong.

Call both our senators and ask them to vote yes.

You can find their emails and phone numbers here.

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Cecil the Lion, Bread and Circuses.

Not Cecil, but a good-lookin' fella. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by   Tambako the Jaguar https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/

Not Cecil, but a good-lookin’ fella. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tambako the Jaguar https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/

I told friends I wasn’t going to write about Cecil the dead lion because it “wasn’t worth the candle,” which is to say that I think the whole fracas is exaggerated and addlepated.

I’m still not going to write about Cecil and his demise except to say this: Get a brain, people.

He was a lion.

He was killed by a hunter who may or may not have violated hunting’s rules of fair play.

Let. Me. Repeat: He was a lion. He was not a human being.

Hunting is not immoral. Maybe this particular hunter broke the rules of, as I said, hunting fair play, in a manner that sounds akin to spotlighting deer. It is true that lions in the wild are becoming rare. These are all concerns to be dealt with.

But this obsessive craziness over a dead lion is, well, obsessive craziness.

He was a lion. Not a human being. He also was not your pet. A month ago, you had never heard of Cecil the lion.

Talk about bread and circuses.

Sheesh.

The end.

(OK. Now lay into me for being an animal hater or whatever. Get it all out.)

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Are Pro Life Elected Officials as Committed as Pro Aborts?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by TipsTimesAdmin https://www.flickr.com/photos/tipstimesadmin/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by TipsTimesAdmin https://www.flickr.com/photos/tipstimesadmin/

This is an interesting discussion about defunding Planned Parenthood.

I want to make a point about one thing that Tod Starnes says. The Rs have not really been “in control since 2013” as he says. They’ve been dealing with a split government in which the Executive is in the hands of the Ds.

That said, he is correct in saying that they’ve pushed hard for corporatists agendas, such as doing way with the retirement for our men and women in arms, while they’ve used pro life as a rabble rousing vote-getter and have not really been serious about doing anything to save babies’ lives. Ditto for the sanctity of marriage and religious freedom.

The Rs were in control of the government during the first decade of this century, when they held both houses of Congress and the White House. They did not defund Planned Parenthood then, and they could have, if they had wanted to.

I believe that Mr Starnes makes a valid point when he says that elected supporters of Planned Parenthood are much more committed to their cause than elected pro life supporters are to our cause.

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White House Defends Planned Parenthood, Promises Veto.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Official White House Photo.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Official White House Photo.

Now here’s  a surprise.

The White House media guy supports Planned Parenthood and uses Planned Parenthood’s talking points to do it. We all know who the White House media guy works for, right?

For what it’s worth, each of the videos under discussion in the YouTubes below was released in two versions, one of them was edited, but the other was complete and without editing.

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Rand Paul’s Math is the Same as Mine. Do You Know Anything that Would Change It?

 

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Senator Rand Paul says pro life Democrats are “the key” to defunding Planned Parenthood.

Turns out his math on the vote is the same as mine. The vote in question is a vote on cloture, which would limit debate and stop a filibuster against the bill. Cloture requires 60 votes.

According to Senator Paul, 52 of the 54 Rs will vote for cloture. I’ve read that Republican Senator Collins of Maine, and Senator Kirk of Illinois plan to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood.  What that means is that the Ds are going to have to cough up 8 pro life votes to pass cloture and allow the bill to come to a vote of the full Senate.

How many pro life Ds are there in the United States Senate? By my count, we have 4 who have mixed pro life records. They vote pro life a lot of time, but not on every, single vote. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Senator Casey of Pennsylvania, who has said that he will not vote to defund Planned Parenthood. This is consistent with his previous votes on the issue.

I’ve been over the numbers several times, and I can’t get to 60. If the Rs can change both their “nos,” and pro life Ds can pull 6 votes out of their hat, then we’re home.

Public Catholic readers are often active in the pro life movements in their local communities. Do any of you have better intel on how this vote is like to come down? Have you talked to your senators’ offices and gotten information that there’s a D or two out there who might switch and vote with us?

If you do, please share the info here.

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We Can Defund Planned Parenthood if We Want To. Here’s How.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

If our elected officials truly want to defund Planned Parenthood — as opposed to using it for a campaign issue — they can.

First we have to defund the half billion or so of over the counter money that goes to PP. Part of this involves transferring these monies to other entities. I am totally opposed to creating another form of “privatized” health care funding, which is what PP is. All we need to do is transfer the monies to the various city, county and state health departments with strong language about how it must be used and penalties for mis-use.

These are already existing facilities who do a lot of this same kind of work now.

The real trick is to pry the $$ loose from PP in the first place. I offer a plan for doing this, as well as an explanation for why the move the United States Senate is making now is a no-go, in a post I wrote for the National Catholic Register.

I want to emphasize that I am not saying that we can’t get this done. I am saying that we can’t get it done by the methods that the Senate is currently using.

Too many so-called pro-life Senators say things like “I’d like to defund Planned Parenthood, but, we need to do this or that corporatist thing first because pro life is really, you know, a distraction from the serious business of government.” You can take it to the bank that this guy or gal ain’t never gonna do anything but vote pro life out in public when they are forced to and that they will cut pro life concerns off at the knees in the back rooms where none of us can see.

It’s up to us, the pro life people of America, to pressure them to stop playing politics with this, and get serious about making it happen. We are the babies’ only voice.

From the National Catholic Register:

Without this bill, we face a long slog through other amendments on less important bills or a standalone bill, all of which are unlikely to make it to law. It appears that what Majority Leader McConnell has set up is a vote or votes that are doomed to fail so far as lawmaking goes, but that will make nice fodder for the upcoming campaign. —Rebecca Hamilton

I quoted myself at the top of this post. It’s not often that I get to be a prophet … and in a 24-hour turnaround, no less.

Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced Wednesday that she had filed a bill that would (drum roll) “defund Planned Parenthood!!!!” Her first co-author is none less than (trumpet fanfare) Majority Leader Mitch McConnell!!!!

Then, Majority Leader McConnell (bring out the sparklers) said that the Senate will “vote” on the bill as early as next week!!!!

Attaboy!

Attagirl!

We got ‘em! Planned Parenthood is doomed, I say — dooooomed.

Just out of curiosity: Is anybody out there actually believing this? Because if you are, I’ve got some land in Florida and a bridge in Brooklyn that we need to talk about.

Remember when I wrote about tactics, strategy and all that stuff? Well, what we are seeing here is a short course in Political Tactics 101. The trouble is, these tactics are being used against us, not for us.

There isn’t going to be a straight-up, standalone statute go into law defunding Planned Parenthood. Will. Not. Happen.

Why?

Let me count the ways.

 

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LA Superior Court Stops Release of Future Videos of StemExpress’ Baby Body Parts Business

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Charlotte Cooper https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecooper/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Charlotte Cooper https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecooper/

The Los Angeles Superior Court has issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, barring them from releasing more videos of StemExpress executives discussing the purchase of aborted baby body parts.

The videos in question are said to include conversations held in a restaurant with three StemExpress executives.

My first reaction was that this is tres ironic, coming as it does from people who come on Public Catholic and throw both shoes because their comments sometimes get deleted. I lost track the first week as to how many times they accused me of violating their odd idea of “freedom of speech” and the First Amendment.

However, this action by the Los Angeles Superior Court does violate First Amendment free speech, since it is the government, stopping journalists from airing videos which show people who are at least indirectly hooked up to the tax base talking about how they make their money. It doesn’t get much more First Amendment than that.

We the People have a right to know what is being done with our tax dollars, and Planned Parenthood certainly gets its share of tax dollars. Also, “researchers” who may be using these body parts from murdered babies are also almost certainly getting a big part of their $$ from the government, as well. It seems clear that StemExpress is getting its $$ from the government, at least indirectly.

It will be interesting indeed to see how this plays out in the courts. It does indicate that Planned Parenthood and its downstream partners such as StemExpress are running hot on this thing.

There’s a cloture vote in the Senate next week. Even though I’ve gone on record saying that we’re gonna lose that vote, I still think we need to put up every bit of fight we can. You never know. I’ve won other fights I thought were lost in the past.

From FoxNews:

A temporary restraining order has been issued preventing an anti-abortion group from releasing any video of leaders of a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers. The group is the same one that previously released three covertly shot videos of a Planned Parenthood leader discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research.

The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.

The Center for Medical Progress has released three surreptitiously recorded videos to date that have riled anti-abortion activists. The Senate is expected to vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the videos’ release.

In a statement Wednesday, center leader David Daleiden said StemExpress was using “meritless litigation” to cover up an “illegal baby parts trade.”

“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work,” he said.

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